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April 9, 2015

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April 9, 2015

The 3 Things I Always Look For At A Thrift To Resell On Ebay When I’m In A Hurry

April 9, 2015
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Whenever we are traveling for any reason (to go shopping, for our kids’ activities, parties or adventures), I always try to find a Thrift Store that I can run into.

Why am I always on the hunt for a local thrift to stop in?  Because this way I can write off the miles as a business expense.  Since I have to travel somewhere, why not expense it?  This gives you a nice deduction on your taxes.  For 2015, the deduction is 57.5 cents per mile.  So if you have to go somewhere that’s 15 miles away (30 miles round trip) and you stop in at a thrift and find some inventory, that’s a $17.25 deduction on your taxes.  So if you make $50 selling on Ebay that day, that’s $17.25 that will be a deduction against your earnings.  (I am not a tax expert, so please talk to your accountant for actual tax advice).

Most times when we are out, I really don’t have much time to look for inventory, but there are 3 things that I can spend 5 minutes looking for.

1.  Microwave Turntable Plates

microwave turntable

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You can view the Ebay completeds here to see what most go for.  I have most of mine priced at $19.99 plus shipping.  And any plate up to 13″ in size, I add 5lbs for shipping, anything larger I add 6lbs shipping.  I will always check the plate number on ebay as some can go for about $40 plus shipping.  I have them priced at $20 because I’d like to move them out.  Some folks price high and wait for that special customer to come along…and if you’re the only one selling that plate, you’ll get your asking price.  Mine are competitively priced.

I have been accumulating these plates for about 3 years and finally took the time about a week ago to wash them all, photograph them and list them.  I had accumulated about 50 of these plates and have already sold 2 of them.  I pick them up anywhere from $.99 to about $4.  They are cheaper at church sales and more expensive at thrifts.

How do I package them?  Well, they get bubble wrapped and we ship them in boxes that we make ourselves.  We also tape them to the inside of the box to prevent any movement.  I’ve heard of people shipping them in Pizza Boxes, but I think that’s crazy!

2.  Mugs

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Funny that both of the mugs I sold this year were Starbucks mugs. Some go for more than others.  The first one I added shipping as there weren’t many of that design available when I listed mine.  The 2nd one I had free shipping on it as there were many of that design and I wanted to stay competitive on price.  Since it’s Throwback Thursday, I thought I would share my garage sale Starbucks mug that I found and sold for over $265.50 plus shipping.

I like mugs as they are cheap and easy to ship.  I try to pick up mugs that are unique and interesting.  They can be vintage, used, new…it doesn’t matter.

And I know that some people think this is crazy, but this is how I ship my mugs most of the time.  Been doing it for about 3 years and have never had an issue.  🙂  Here’s a video that shows you how to do it by Jason Smith of Thrifting With The Boys (Thrift Hunters).  The only thing I do differently is that I’ve never used the priority box to wrap around the mug, I use thicker cardboard.

3.  Ties

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I love ties, they are cheap, easy to store and easy and cheap to ship.  This one I took a best offer of $18 on.  I normally have best offer auto accept at $15 and auto decline under $15.  They are usually under 3 oz and cost a little over $2 to ship.  I normally don’t buy brand name ties, but sometimes will come across one that is like new and really nice.  But I typically stick to interesting novelty ties, especially vintage ones.

So these are the 3 items I check for in every thrift store I go to.  There usually aren’t tons of these items to go through so you can get in and out very quickly. (Accept for the mug section at Salvation Army – I find that area a bit overwhelming with tons of mugs.)

Are there items or sections that you always check for at the thrift?


  1. First place I look is toys. Always on the hunt for Nerf guns or other good toys like AG dolls, Breyer horses, Lego, stuff like that. Then the metal section. Always looking for brass figures or other unusual things there. I still check mugs but rarely find anything valuable. There’s always that chance though. lol Then I check the plates for Dansk pieces and I also look for white Corelle dishes to add to my own. Hubby’s been checking out sporting goods looking for pool cues. He makes walking sticks out of them. I tried selling ties a while back but it was a huge fail for me. Glad it works for you though. 🙂

    1. Hey Lorraine. Yep, I run through the toys section and the metals real quick too. The ties are so small and easy to store so I have a whole bunch of them and believe eventually everything will sell. LOL

  2. Thanks for sharing! A $265 mug is amazing. I always check the jeans. It’s not the quickest section to look through, but very rarely will you be disappointed in the selection. I’ve decided jeans are the most consistent section in the store. Love toys, jackets, athletic shoes and men’s clothing also.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Anna. Yeah, I do check the jeans section, but not on a quickie trip. That sections takes a while for me to get through. When I have time, I check EVERY section of the store. One hour is not enough time for me. Hubby thinks I take way too much time, but I really do check every section. I would really like to get better with mens clothing though.

  3. I also always check mugs. I also check baseball/trucker hats. Light, easy to store and ship. I look for interesting ones or sports teams. Stuffed toys. I look again for interesting, ones associated with retro tv shows/cartoons and extra large plush. I stay away from beanie babies and generic type teddies. Lastly I like to look through the linens. I look for vintage pillow cases and kids character sheets.

    1. Hey Nancy. You know, I’ve looked through the linen section for vintage linens, and have never found anything. I sometimes read home decor and design blogs and some people find the most amazing vintage linens. I never have! Well not pillow cases or anything. But I did find a vintage Star Wars fabric curtain panel in a St. Vincents in the Dells last fall that I sold for $70 recently…I had bo on it, but it sold for full price. But that’s not linen..LOL. I do quickly scan for trucker hats too.

  4. I always look for Nike shoes, specifically Jordan’s or Air Max. They usually sell very fast. I’m actually going to one of my local thrift shops when I get off work.

    1. I do run through the shoe section too, but have yet to find any of those. I did once find a really cool pair of vintage black and white mens leather shoes at a Salvation Army that sold for like $65. I’m not so good with shoes. But some ebay sellers, like Bluefrog Shoes sell only shoes and make a killing doing it!

  5. When I am doing a quick trip through a thrift I usually glance at the shoes looking for Fit Flops, I spend some time looking through the plush and then head to the board games via the linens. I also like looking at maternity clothes and denim skirts if I have time, other than that I skip clothes for the most part.

    1. Hey Kari, I forgot that I actually do check for denim skirts too. All the time! That would probably be my 4th item to look for, time permitting. But I check shoes and plush too, when I have more time. I’ve recently been buying a bit of the vintage afghans…some are so cool!

  6. I always look at dishes and mugs first, then toys, shoes, and linens. You’ll have to share a tutorial on how you package those microwave turntables. I have successfully packaged tons of breakable dinnerware, but the one turntable I sold broke into a zillion pieces.

    1. Bummer Kimberly. My hubby packages them for me, he doesn’t trust me..LOL But as he was packaging the last one, we were talking about doing a blog post about it. Maybe I will take pics next time or a video.

  7. I haven’t touched the plates although I understand how someone would buy one! There’s a chip in ours that has been there since we moved in. I want a new one but I’m too cheap! 😛 Maybe if you cut me a deal I’d buy one off of you. Promise to leave positive feedback! LOL

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